Adding an in-ground pool to your Bergen County landscape is one of the most rewarding hardscape decisions you’ll every make. Swimming pools provide a lifetime of enjoyment for homeowners and guests of all ages. Plus, water is a wonderful means of exercising and enjoying time outdoors, away from the stressors of everyday life.
They can also be an excellent feature to increase the value of your home when you’re ready to sell. One of the biggest questions most homeowners have is, “How much will my swimming pool cost?”
There is no way to answer this question directly because your total swimming pool cost will vary depending on the size of the pool, your soil conditions, as well as the accessories and finishes you choose.
By reviewing the following considerations, you and your family will have learned (almost!) everything there is to know about the planning, excavation and construction required to build and finish a custom in-ground pool in your Bergen County backyard.
What Affects Bergen County Swimming Pool Cost
Your swimming pool cost will depend on a myriad of factors ranging from the initial building permits all the way through to the long-term maintenance costs that continue once your pool is filled and ready for your first cannon ball. Some of these factors include:
- The permits you will need to begin construction.
- The design process.
- Finish/hardscape materials for your pool and surrounding patio.
- Additional amenities and complementary hardscape features.
- The fill up.
- Annual maintenance.
Here are some of the most important factors for you and your family to consider when it comes to the cost of your swimming pool project.
Getting Swimming Pool Building Permits
The “construction phase” of your swimming pool begins long before you ever break ground. This is because your contractor will need to pull building permits from the local building department. In an era when city planners and consumers are more eco-conscious than ever, many municipalities throughout Bergen County and northern NJ are becoming stricter regarding their guidelines for backyard pools.
Have a conversation with your local building officials so you can learn exactly what is and isn’t allowed in your particular neighborhood. This can alter the size or type of features you include in your swimming pool design.
Choosing Your Swimming Pool Contractor
A swimming pool is not a simple hardscape project. It’s imperative that you choose a reputable swimming pool contractor who is licensed, bonded and insured. We recommend that you:
- Take the time to verify professional licenses with your local building department.
- Get a handful of quotes and make sure they are itemized so you can compare apples to apples.
- Be wary of any quote that seems excessively low.
- Check multiple references and ask questions so you get a better feel for the contractor’s work ethic.
Any errors in your swimming pool construction will result in more expensive repairs down the way and, in worst case scenarios, they can result in serious damage to your surrounding landscape, hardscape features and even the structural integrity of your home. Water is a powerful force. It needs to be contained securely so it can’t leach into the surrounding soil.
What Size Swimming Pool Should We Build?
Well, that is a great question! What size is your yard? How do you plan to use your pool? How deep do you want it to be? The first, and most important question is, “Does your local community or building code enforcement office have regulations?” In an effort to conserve water, the size of your pool may be limited to the conservation restrictions applied in your area. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on swimming pool size:
- Is there someone who likes to swim laps? If you have a member of your family who plans to use the pool for lap swimming, you will want to have a pool that is at least 4-feet deep and 25-yards long. This will provide the same practice dimensions as you’ll find in a competition pool.
- Do you plan to use it for recreation? If you also plan to use your pool recreationally, you can add a smaller leg, to form an L-shape, which can ensure there’s plenty of space for floating, water polo and play, even if someone is swimming laps.
- Will there be little ones using the pool? Whether you have toddlers in the home now, or envision your pool being used by small grandchildren in the future, consider adding a wading area as a means of entry. In a wading area, the water is only a handful of inches deep. It provides a great place for little ones to play safely, and a lovely lounging and reading spot for adults on a hot day.
Your landscape may also affect the size and shape of the pool you install.
Landscape and Soil Considerations
Your landscape and soil conditions will play a significant role in your swimming pool costs. Obviously, a perfectly flat landscape is ideal. Not too long ago, homeowners that had backyards with an excessive slope were considered out of luck. Now, modern technology has advanced to the point where a swimming pool can be installed in fairly sloped terrain, but the extra excavation will increase your swimming pool cost.
Your soil condition will also play a part in determining swimming pool costs. If the soil is very hard or rocky, it takes more labor to excavate. Conversely, if your soil is too soft, and can be compressed easily, you will have the added expanse of new fill materials necessary to provide the adequate foundation and bracing for your in-ground pool.
Choosing Custom Shapes and Features Will Also Affect your Swimming Pool Cost
Traditionally, pools are round, oval, square or rectangular. These shapes work best in urban neighborhoods where there are more significant shape constraints due to the size and shape of the yard. You want to make sure there is adequate space left over for substantial patio, lounging and landscaping space.
Custom shapes are often used for larger yards where they can be designed to blend better with the overall landscape design. However, a pool with a custom shape will increase the total pool cost as it requires more labor and expertise to finish it properly.
Design a Patio the Complements Both Your Pool and Your Existing Backyard Landscape
Sometimes, homeowners use the pool as an excuse to completely re-do their backyard landscape. However, in many cases, the pool is being added to an existing landscape, in which case the design needs to flow. Make sure you incorporate an adequate patio plan to accommodate your pool space.
Things to think about include:
Width. Ideally the patio should be at least 5 to 8 feet wide to provide a safe means of entering and exiting the pool, proper water drainage and to prevent dirt and other backyard debris from polluting your pool.
Materials. The most typical materials used to build poolside patios are concrete, stone, bricks or concrete pavers. In many cases, homeowners opt to use a combination of these materials. Your swimming pool contractor can help you decide which would be the best for your pool. We recommend utilizing concrete and stone pavers. They come in a wide range of colors, shapes and textures, which optimize the aesthetics while minimizing the slip hazard around the pool.
Maintenance. Consider that your patio, as well as your pool, will need to be maintained. While high-end stone and paver products may increase your initial swimming pool cost, stone pavers are incredibly resistant to the freezing and thawing experienced in our Bergen County climate, which will also cut down on maintenance expenses over time.
Additional Features to Complete Your Pool Construction
Now it’s time to think about the extra features that will enhance your backyard swimming pool experience. Some of the most popular features include things like:
Water features. Installing a water feature, whether it is a gentle spill-over or a full-blown waterfall can enhance your outdoor ambiance and can also act as a sound buffer.
Hot tubs. Enjoy the best of both worlds by incorporating a hot tub into your pool design. In addition to providing the ultimate spot to unwind, hot tubs will increase the return on your investment by allowing you to enjoy your pool in cooler seasons.
Lighting. Lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects of a backyard pool design. A comprehensive lighting plan will increase nighttime pool safety and will also add visual appeal. You can incorporate both safety and decorative lighting, including colors, to create any ambiance.
Fencing. There are a variety of attractive fencing options on the market which will increase the security and safety of your pool. Fencing can also decrease your lifetime swimming pool cost by lowering your monthly homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Fun additions. Diving boards, slides and fountains are fun additions that will make your pool more enjoyable for family and friends.
Landscaping. Finally, the landscaping you select will help to provide privacy, shade and ambiance. It is the final touch on your ultimate backyard pool design. We can help you select plants, trees and shrubs that will provide year-round interest around your pool and hot tub.
Regular Maintenance Will Save on Lifetime Swimming Pool Cost
Regular maintenance is the key to protecting your investment and reducing your lifetime swimming pool costs. The better care you take, the less likely your pool will get algae and bacterial infestations and/or excessive repair costs that can accrue when small problems become bigger issues over time.
Regular maintenance includes things like:
- Maintaining alkaline, pH and calcium hardness levels.
- Repairing cracks and chips as they appear.
- Cleaning and changing filters regularly
- Maintaining and lubricating electrical and mechanical parts.
- Skimming and cleaning the pool regularly.
Contact a Swimming Pool Contractor to Get Started
From the planning phase through the finished product, a swimming pool contractor will offer competitive swimming pool costs and will design a gorgeous in-ground pool and patio areas based on your budget and needs. Now’s the time to start planning your summertime pool haven so it’s ready before the first heat wave.